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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Would You Please Hurry Up

My poor puppies really needed to get out this morning. Because of varying circumstances last week, I was only able to take them on two short walks. Needless to say, by this morning, they had a lot of stored-up energy. So, despite the heat, I decided to take them on a long hike. We started at 8:00 this morning and got home around 12:00.

On the way down the mountain, both dogs were full of energy and excitement. They ran and played. They explored. By the time we reached the bottom, however, they were both hot and panting like crazy. I took them the short distance to the lake where I gave them plenty of time to play in the water and cool off. By the time we started back toward the mountain climb, Mitch was refreshed and back into his exploratory mood. Tippy, however, was losing steam FAST!

That's fine. I understand. It was getting warmer, and frankly, I was losing steam too. What frustrated me is that she insisted on walking in front of me at an extremely slow pace. Every time I would try to get around her, she'd speed up. But as soon as I was back behind her she'd slow down again. She was walking so slow that I couldn't even take a full step. I was making little baby steps which was really annoying and tiring.

Finally, I had had enough. Determined to pass her, I sped up to a near jog and cut in front of her. I kept up my quickened pace to make sure she didn't try to cut back in front of me. What I didn't take into account, however, was that we had just reached the toughest part of the climb. For the next little while it was nothing but climbing. Gradually, my pace slowed and slowed and slowed a little more. Then as my legs and lungs felt as if they were on fire, I stopped, bent over at the waist with my hands on my knees, and struggled to take in great gulps of air.

As I stood there trying to regain my strength, Tippy ambled past me. Her pace was slow but steady. She didn't stop when she reached me. She simply continued her climb up the mountain. The whole thing reminded me of the story of the tortoise and the hare. Because of my speed, I needed to stop and take a rest. Meanwhile, Tippy's persistence and determination allowed her to reach the top of the mountain.

Speed and strength don't always win the race. Sometimes all we need is persistence. As yesterday's post stated, no matter what you may be facing, don't quit. Keep on keeping on even if your pace seems slow. It's not about speed. It's about determination.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't Quit!

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Author Unknown

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who's Stressed?

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed: we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. - II Corinthians 4:8-9

Do you see yourself in the above verses? Troubled? Check. Perplexed? Check. Persecuted? Check. Cast down? Check. How about the other side of each statement? Not distressed? Um, not quite. Not in despair? Working on it. Not forsaken? I know it's true, but it sure does feel like I'm all alone sometimes. Not destroyed? Check. . .I think. Let's face it -- we have a lot to learn from Paul.

As you've probably noticed for the past couple of weeks, my blog posts have been hit and miss. I apologize for that, but the truth is that my "groove" has been thrown off track. The past month has been full of the unexpected and the time-consuming. I've been working and learning in an effort to launch my new book this month. My husband came down with a terrible case of poison ivy which cost us several nights' sleep and several days of sanity. Last week was children's revival at our church. Monday was our wedding anniversary.

All of those (except the poison ivy) are good things, but I've been a bit overwhelmed by it all. In fact, I had a doctor's appointment last week, and for the first time ever, my blood pressure was high. The doctor was concerned, and asked if I had been under any stress lately. I laughed in his face, then explained what had been going on. He nodded and told me to keep tabs on it just to make sure it wasn't something else. It has gone down since then. I knew it would. After all, I've been here before. I have arrived at the place where I need to re-charge my batteries.

I have plans to go to the park tomorrow. I will take my Bible, my journal, some tissues, and some water. I plan to find a comfortable and somewhat secluded spot, and then I intend to stay there until my spirit feels refreshed. You see, when I read that verse in Corinthians yesterday, it rang too true in my current state. I saw it as God's way of telling me it was time to take a day and "be still." It's good to do that every now and then. It always amazes me at the difference it makes in my life.

If it's been a while since you've had a moment to "be still," you may want to try to work it in to your schedule. It can brighten your day and lighten your load.

Troubled? Sure. Distressed? Nah!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm Back!

It's good to be back from my "time off." I wish I could say it was a restful week, but alas, it was anything but. Here's a quick rundown:

Sunday: Tried a new order of service for church. I was confused and VERY busy.

Monday: Helped hubby build the new sound room for church. We spent nearly 12 hours at this task, and no, it was not completed. (We had to go hither and yon to purchase the materials too.)

Tuesday: Jason worked a long day, so I spent the time trying to make some progress on my book. I also tried to recover from Monday's labor.

Wednesday: Jason worked a morning job while I took the dogs to the lake for some much-needed exercise. Jason took the remainder of the day off, so we left at lunch time to continue the work on the sound room. We worked until church time and got a lot done. By the end of church, I was barely able to keep my eyes open.

Sometime in the early week: Jason got into some poison ivy or poison oak. We noticed a little bit of it on Wednesday as we were working, but didn't think much of it. By Wednesday night, Jason was VERY itchy, so sleep was hard to come by (for both of us).

Thursday: Jason worked a full day despite his worsening itches. I tried to work on my book, but found that my concentration was not up to the task. (Go figure!) Still, I got some work done around the house and some progress made on my book.

Thursday night: VERY LITTLE SLEEP!!!!! Too much itching and scratching. (Caffeine, please!)

Friday: Jason soldiered on and went to work again. I took the dogs out again for some exercise. After that, I ran errands and picked up more medication for my itching and extremely miserable husband. Then, I finally made some more progress on my book. (It's sad, really. I spent so much time designing the cover when it really shouldn't have taken more than a couple of hours. I'd been working on it all week - well, when I had time anyway!)

Friday night: You guessed it -- no sleep!!!!! (Seriously, I really need caffeine!)

Saturday: With a long list of things that needed to be done, we decided to trash the list and get some rest. Jason rested while I got caught up on some things and worked on getting things ready for homecoming on Sunday. Food? Check. Clothes? Check. Offeratory? Check. Special music lyrics? Check.

Saturday night: Some rest. (It may have had something to do with the herbal sleeping pills I took. Who knows?)

Sunday: Homecoming. Good service. Good food. No evening service which means more rest for the weary (that's me).

So, as you can see, it's been a very hectic and "interesting" week for us. Still, I'm glad I can honestly say that God has been good to me! He has given strength and patience (for all you ladies who have ever had to tend to a sick husband, you know what I'm talking about).

Thank you for your patience during the past week. I honestly don't think I could have fit another thing in, and even if I had, I'm not sure how coherent my posts would have been. Anyway, thanks for your faithful following. Lord willing, I'll have some great posts for you this week. And keep your eyes open for news concerning my new book, Random Ramblings of a Raving Redhead.